Adult Entertainment, Elaine May's new comedy about the sex industry, will star Danny Aiello and Jeannie Berlin and follow the trajectory of last season's respected Broadway play, Fortune's Fool, playing Stamford, CT, prior to a New York run.
The rest of the cast will be announced. A Nov. 1-10 run is expected at the Stamford Center for the Arts, a spokesman for the production confirmed.
May's comedy, which insiders call a satire with heart, will be presented by Julian Schlossberg, Roy Furman and Ben Sprecher. Legendary film director Stanley Donen will direct the play. Off-Broadway was previously mentioned as Adult Entertainment's target.
Donen is renowned for the pictures he co-directed for M G-M, including "On the Town" and "Singin' in the Rain," in the golden days of the 1950s color movie-musical. He directed the Broadway musical, The Red Shoes, in 1993.
Elaine May's last New York play was Taller Than a Dwarf, starring Matthew Broderick in 2001. It was not embraced by critics or audiences. Schlossberg produced. May's career began as an actress in The Second City, where she formed a partnership with Mike Nichols. The pair appeared in clubs, on TV and on Broadway. She would later become a screenwriter and film director, and continue acting. Her screenplays include "A New Leaf" (also direction and acting), "Mikey & Nicky" (also direction), "Heaven Can Wait" (written with Warren Beatty), "The Birdcage" (directed by Mike Nichols) and "Primary Colors" (directed by Nichols). She also contributed to Power Plays and Death Defying Acts for the stage. Jeannie Berlin, a respected actress and director, is May's daughter. Aiello has distinguished himself in such films as "Do the Right Thing," Moonstruck" and "Radio Days."
A private reading of Adult Entertainment was held May 16 in Manhattan.
Among Donen's film credits are "Bedazzled," "Two for the Road," "Charade," "Damn Yankees," "The Pajama Game," "Royal Wedding" and "Funny Face."
— By Kenneth Jones